Professor Maureen McNeil

Emeritus Professor

Research Interests

My background:

I am a Canadian researcher and teacher who has worked in Canada , the USA , with a short stint in Berlin , but mainly in the UK (Leicester University, Institute of Education, London; Manchester University; Birmingham University and since 1996 at Lancaster University). I am sustained by and get great pleasure from (in no particular order): walking, cooking and eating good food, my women's group, travel, music and dancing, beautiful gardens, open conversation and friendships.

Research background and interests

I have a strong orientation towards interdisciplinary research and teaching. Much of my research is at the intersection of cultural studies, feminist studies and science/technology studies. With a background in the history of science and in the cultural dimensions of the industrial revolution, my academic life has been shaped by my commitments to the politicised inter-disciplines of cultural studies and feminist studies. Since the late 1970s, I have been involved in the development of feminist studies of science and technology as a teacher and researcher. This research trajectory has resulted in some articles and my book, Feminist Cultural Studies of Science and Technology (Routledge, 2007).

Another thread in my research has been the investigation of the politics, theories, and narratives of reproduction, with reference to developments in science, technology and medicine. This began with my PhD research on theories of evolution (particularly those of Erasmus Darwin) in the eighteenth and nineteenth century and has been carried forward into more recent research on the politics and social significance of new reproductive technologies and on the stories and theories (including genomics)associated with these technologies.

I was Director of the Institute for Women's Studies (1997-2000; 2003-4) and I have been Chair of the Board of the Centre for Science Studies here at Lancaster University. Since its foundation (2002), I have been involved with the Cesagen (Centre for Economic and Social Aspects) of Genomics here at Lancaster University which is a joint ESRC (UK Economic and Social Research Council) collaboration between Cardiff University and Lancaster University. As well as being on the management and resources committee, I was a Principal Investigator on one of the flagship projects in this Centre-Media, Culture and Genomics. One main output from this project was a book written jointly wth the other members of this project team - Kate O'Riordan (Lancaster, now Sussex,University), Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff University) and Joan Haran (Cardiff University) - Human Cloning and the Media: from science fiction to science practice (Routledge, 2008). I am continuing this research in the next phase of CESAGen (2007-12), recently working on collective projects on the Imaginary andon Publics, and autobiographical writing linked to genetics and genomics.

In addition to these pursuits, my own background as the first member of my family to go to university, my concern for social justice and interest in knowledge-power relations pulls me towards the study of class relations. Attention to class informs much of my research and has figured in some of my publications and teaching. I have also supervised some PhD theses in this field. A concern for class relations also informs my work onthe generaltopic of power, knowledge, feminism and pedagogy.

  • Centre for Gender Studies
  • Centre for Science Studies